Frequently Asked Questions

To answer some of your questions as quickly as possible, we’ve compiled a list of those most frequently asked by PAAS parents. Be sure to read more throughout this website and in our student handbook so that you’re well-informed and prepared to support your middle-schooler through a successful educational journey.

Is tutoring available for my child?

Putnam Academy provides free, before-school tutoring for all students on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:45 until 8:45 a.m. We also have Saturday school twice monthly from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Students who are missing assignments or who are failing a class are highly encouraged to stay for tutoring and attend Saturday school.

Is Putnam Academy equipped with current and relevant technology?

Absolutely. We are committed to helping students grow and develop into 21st-century learners. To accomplish this, we have equipped every academic class with the technological equipment that the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) deems necessary for student success in the 21st century. ISTE-recommended technology includes:

  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Multimedia projectors
  • Student response systems (clickers)
  • Teacher computers/laptops/Chromebooks/iPads
  • Student computers/laptops/Chromebooks/iPads
  • Digital cameras
  • Domain-specific technology

At Putnam Academy, we also provide each student with a Google Chromebook and, if requested, a Kindle Reader, which students may take home daily to complete assignments.

What should I do if I need to take my child out of school for an important appointment?

When a student has to leave campus for an appointment, a parent or guardian must come to the office to sign out the student. Please try to schedule appointments outside of school hours.

For the safety of all students, we must know:

  • Who has permission to sign out a student (These names should be listed with addresses and phone numbers on the pupil’s information sheet.)
  • Whom to contact if you cannot be reached
  • Whom to contact in case of an emergency
  • Any change of address or phone number during the school year for parents and all persons who may pick up the student
May I bring my child a bouquet of balloons or other gifts on special occasions?

We do not allow students to receive gifts at school. On special occasions (e.g., birthdays), parents may bring gifts to show their child in the office, but they may not leave them at school. We simply do not have space in our classrooms, and the transportation department does not allow these items on the buses.

Where can I find lost items?

We place lost/found items on the table located in the office breezeway. We encourage you to mark possessions with the student’s name whenever possible. We will donate items left at school for over 30 days to charity.

Does Putnam Academy serve students breakfast and/or lunch?

Yes! All students at Putnam Academy eat free because of Putnam County’s participation in the National School Lunch Program’s Direct Certification Initiative. We take a lunch count each day; students may choose the daily menu item, a peanut butter sandwich, or a tossed salad.

Students may also bring a lunch from home. We highly discourage checking students out of school to eat lunch off campus, but we do welcome parents to join their child for lunch at school.

Putnam Academy provides microwaves for heating student lunches, but we do not have a refrigerator for student use. Please send lunches that do not require refrigeration.

You may obtain more information about breakfast and lunch from our school office or from the district Food Service office by calling 386-329-0524.

Charter School FAQs

We know you often have questions about what a charter school is and how charters acquire such status. Please take a look at the questions and answers below, and if you have questions, please let us know.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools of choice that place high priority on providing a better quality education. Charter schools are funded much like other public schools, but each charter school is governed privately by an independent board of directors. Unlike traditional public schools, every charter school must demonstrate success both in financial and academic areas or risk losing its charter.

How do charter schools receive funding?

Each public school receives FTE (Full Time Equivalent) funding per student. In Florida, a formula is used to distribute these funds, which come from ad valorem taxes paid by the general public, to each district based upon student enrollment. These funds, which follow the individual student, become the operating capital for public school districts and charter schools. Florida school districts serve as the oversight sponsors for charter schools and retain 5% of the total FTE revenue for which charter schools qualify.

How can my child attend Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences?

Parents may fill out the student enrollment application or obtain one from the school office, located at 310 South Palm Avenue, Palatka, Florida.

Does my child become automatically enrolled?

Putnam Academy is open to any middle school student in Putnam County, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, income, or disability, as long as space is available. The enrollment cap for Putnam Academy is 66 students per grade, but we will place students we are unable to select in the initial lottery or who apply for enrollment after classes are full on a waiting list. When vacancies occur, we will fill the enrollment slots from the waiting list using a lottery process.

Is my child guaranteed continued enrollment once accepted into the school?

Upon enrollment, students/parents sign a compact, agreeing to the 90% Commitment Rule of:

  • Being in attendance 90% of the time
  • Arriving on time 90% of the time
  • Completing homework 90% of the time
  • Exhibiting good behavior 90% of the time
  • We will disenroll students who fail to abide by this 90% Commitment Rule.
How are charter schools created, organized, and operated?

The following are the steps for creating, organizing, and operating a charter school:

  • An individual, a group of parents or teachers, a business, a municipality, or a legal entity submits an application to the school district.
  • The school district approves the charter application.
  • Applicants form a governing board that negotiates a contract with the district school board.
  • Applicants and the district school board agree upon a charter or contract, which outlines expectations of both parties regarding academic and financial performance.
  • The school district becomes the sponsor of the charter school and retains 5% of the charter school’s funds.
  • The governing board, comprised solely of unpaid volunteers who believe in the mission of the school, assumes a fiduciary role of providing the general oversight of the school, approving all school policies, adopting and maintaining the school budget, overseeing the operations of the school including the annual audit, monitoring academic progress, and supervising the school principal.
  • The principal is responsible for day-to-day operations of school, academically and financially.
  • Charter schools have a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt status.
Are virtual charter schools allowed?

In 2011, legislation was passed permitting the operation of virtual charter schools to provide full-time online instruction to eligible students. A virtual charter school must contract with an approved provider of virtual instruction services in accordance with s.1002.45, F.S.

How does the charter application process work?

As required in s.1002.33(6), F.S., a school board receives and reviews all charter school applications and, within 60 days of receipt, must approve or deny the application. All charter applicants must prepare and submit an application on a model application form prepared by the Florida Department of Education. The charter application must:

  • Demonstrate how the school will use the guiding
  • principles
  • Provide a detailed curriculum
  • Contain goals and objectives for improving student learning
  • Describe the separate reading curricula and differentiated strategies
  • Contain an annual financial plan

If a district school board denies an application, it must provide specific, written reasons within 30 calendar days. The charter school applicant then has 10 calendar days to appeal the denial.The state board’s decision is a final action subject to judicial review.

What is the Charter School Appeal Commission?

Appeal Commission assists the State Board of Education in fairly and impartially reviewing the appeals by applicants whose charter applications have been denied. The commission is comprised of members appointed by the commissioner and chaired by the commissioner or a named designee. An equal number of charter school operators and district staff shall be present to hear an appeal.

What specific statutory requirements apply to charter school operations?

A charter school is statutorily (s.1002.33(9), F.S.) required to:

  • Be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and operations
  • Be open to any student, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, income, or disability as long as space is available
  • Be accountable to the school district for its performance
  • Not charge tuition or fees
  • Comply with all applicable state and local health, safety, and civil rights requirements
  • Not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, handicap, or marital status
  • Subject itself to and pay for an annual financial audit
  • Maintain all financial records that constitute its accounting system in accordance with current law
  • Annually adopt and maintain an operating budget
  • Fully participate in the state’s education accountability program
Do charter schools have parental involvement requirements?

Every charter school’s governing board is required to appoint a parent liaison to facilitate parental involvement, to provide access to information, to assist parents and others with questions and concerns, and to resolve disputes. This parent representative must reside in the school district and may be a governing board member, employee, or individual contracted to represent the governing board. Contact information for the representative must be provided in writing to parents each year and must be posted prominently on the charter school’s website.

Each charter school’s governing board must hold at least two public meetings per school year in the school district. The meetings must provide notice and be open and accessible to the public. Attendees must be provided an opportunity to offer input regarding the school’s operations and must be provided an opportunity to receive information about the school. The parent liaison appointed by the governing board must be physically present at the two required meetings.

Are charter schools exempt from state statutes?

Charter schools are generally exempt from the Florida K–20 Education Code (Ch. 1000-1013, F.S.), except those statutes that:

  • Specifically apply to charter schools
  • Pertain to the student assessment program and school grading system
  • Pertain to the provision of services to students with disabilities
  • Pertain to civil rights, student health, safety, and welfare
  • Relate to maximum class size, except the calculation for compliance shall be the average at the school level.

Charter schools must also comply with any statute governing public records, public meetings and records, public inspection, and penalties (Ch. 119, F.S.). In addition, charter schools must use facilities that comply with the Florida Building Code (Ch. 553, F.S) and Florida Fire Prevention Code (s.663, F.S) but are exempt from compliance with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF). A local governing authority may not impose local building requirements more stringent than those in the Florida Building Code, and charter schools are exempt from ad valorem taxes and fees charged for building licenses.

Are charter school administrators required to be certified?

Charter school administrators are not required to be certified.

What are conversion charter schools?

Conversion charter schools are traditional public schools that have been converted to charter schools. The school must have operated for at least two years as a traditional public school (including a school-within-a-school) in a school district before conversion. Application for a conversion may be made by a parent, teacher, principal, district school board, or school advisory council but must be approved by a majority of the teachers and a majority of the parents. A majority of the parents must participate in the vote. The charter for a conversion charter school must identify the alternative arrangements that will be put in place to serve current students that choose not to attend the school after it is converted. Conversion charter schools are not eligible for charter school capital outlay funding if the conversion charter school operates in facilities provided to them by the school district.

What are charter schools-in-the-workplace?

Charter schools-in-the-workplace are sponsored by local school districts in partnership with a company or business. Such charter schools usually target the children of the employees of a company or business.

What are charter schools-in-a-municipality?

Charter schools-in-a-municipality are sponsored by local school districts in partnership with a municipality. Such schools enroll students based upon a random lottery that involves all of the children of the residents of the municipality and according to the racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community or other public schools in the same school district.

What are community college charter schools?

Community college charter schools are statutorily authorized when a public community college, in cooperation with the school board or boards within the college’s service area, develops a charter school that offers secondary education and allows students to obtain an associate’s degree upon graduation from high school.

What is a high-performing charter school?

According to s.1002.331, F.S., a charter school is high-performing if it:

  • Received at least two grades of “A” and no grades below “B” during two of the last three years
  • Received an unqualified opinion on each annual fiscal audit in the most recent three fiscal years
  • Did not receive a financial audit that revealed one or more financial emergency conditions in the most recent three fiscal years.
What are the benefits offered to a high-performing charter school?

A high-performing charter school is authorized to:

  • Increase its student enrollment once per school year by up to 15% more than the capacity identified in the charter
  • Expand grade levels within K–12 to add grade levels not already served
  • Submit quarterly rather than monthly financial statements to the sponsor
  • Consolidate under a single charter, the charters of multiple high-performing charter schools operated in the same district by the charter school’s governing board
  • Receive a modification of its charter to a term of 15 years
  • Replicate its educational program in any district in the state

A high-performing charter school must notify its sponsor, in writing, by March 1, if it plans to increase enrollment or expand grade levels for the next school year. A high-performing charter school may submit an application in any school district in the state to establish and operate a new charter school that will substantially replicate its educational program. A high-performing charter school may not establish more than one charter school within the state in any year. A high-performing charter school system may also replicate one of its high-performing charter schools in the same manner.